The 10 Best CEOs for Women, According to Female Employee Reviews

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Although companies have made progress toward gender parity in the workplace, women have yet to achieve true equity with their male colleagues. 

The number of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 rose to a record high this year — 44 — which means women now run 8.8% of Fortune 500 companies. There are more women on the boards of America's 1,000 largest public companies, too: The percentage of women on these boards increased from 23.8% to 28.2% between 2019 and 2021, JUST Capital found. 

Yet women — and particularly women of color — continue to face a significant wage gap, hiring discrimination and harassment, among other barriers in the workplace. 

To determine which companies are making strides in building a supportive, inclusive work environment for women, company review site Comparably compiled a list of the "Best CEOs for Women" using data from its platform. 

Comparably analyzed anonymous survey feedback from female employees across 70,000 companies between June 24, 2021 through June 24, 2022 to determine the ranking. Each company's rating was based on employee feedback about the CEO's effectiveness as a leader and the overall workplace culture, with additional weight being given to companies that had more participation from their employee base. Companies also needed a minimum of 75 employee ratings on Comparably's website to qualify for the ranking.

Yamini Rangan, the CEO of software company HubSpot, ranked as the top CEO for women among companies with 500 or more employees. Rangan, who became CEO of Hubspot in September 2021, is just one of seven female leaders to make the top 50. 

She is also the second female CEO to come in the No. 1 spot since Comparably first created its list of the best CEOs for women in 2018, following Annette Brüls, the CEO of medical device company Medela, who won the honor in 2020. 

Here are Comparably's 10 top-ranked CEOs for women, according to employee reviews:

  1. HubSpot: Yamini Rangan
  2. IBM: Arvind Krishna 
  3. ADP: Carlos Rodriguez 
  4. Adobe: Shantanu Narayen
  5. RingCentral: Vladimir Shmunis
  6. Farmers Insurance: Jeffrey Dailey 
  7. Experian: Brian Cassin 
  8. Uber: Dara Khosrowshahi
  9. Estee Lauder Companies: Fabrizio Freda 
  10. Elsevier: Kumsal Bayazit 

Rangan tells CNBC Make It that her tenure as CEO has been guided by two principles, which she encourages other leaders to emulate: balancing "radical candor with radical compassion" and "leading with humility."

"As  leaders, we need to hold a high bar for our teams but we also have to create a nurturing environment for them to get there," she explains. "I try to be vulnerable in receiving feedback, asking questions, and learning from my mistakes … great leaders are great learners."

From the start, Rangan says her career was built on perseverance. "I knew I needed to work harder and longer than my peers, and to advocate for myself," she says. "But that can't be how the next generation of women get to leadership."

She continues: "Companies need to walk the walk on inclusive hiring practices, development and retention programs for underrepresented leaders, and must focus on creating a culture of belonging each and every day … we are all responsible for closing the gender gap."

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